The secret is out of the corral. We now know which worthy causes are receiving pork barrel spending — that is money appropriated for special congressional pet projects. The Pig Book, put out by Citizens Against Government Waste, specifically identifies the 11, 610 projects that received $17.2 billion of taxpayer money this year.
We've all heard the famous "bridge to nowhere" and "studying the DNA of bears" used as prime examples of piggy tax-gobbling this campaign. Check out the whole book of new contenders. To sniff out some of the smelly highlights,
- Maine Senators and Representative got $188,000 for the Lobster Institute.
- $7.5 million was allocated for grape and wine research and $460,752 to research hops, the main ingredient in beer.
- Rep. Virgil Goode (R) secured $98,000 to develop a walking a tour of Boydron, VA.
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lined up $1.7 million for multiple projects including: $1.1 for mormon crickets, $36, 741 for weed managements, and $196,000 for the historical downtown post office in Las Vegas.
Tax money should be used to fund museums, research initiatives, and other projects that would be otherwise neglected; however, it is troublesome that these projects are awarded in the shadows, instead of through a process of competitive allocation. Would you rather let federal agencies decide how the money is spent, or do you think the elected officials are better able to prioritize the needs of their constituents?